When I started here over a year ago, I moved up the ranks in a fashion some of us did. Started with a low price to get the jobs just to build a good reputation. Somewhere along the line a few jobs turned into many, and yet the rate was still low. I couldn't get higher paying jobs and clients would constantly haggle prices.
I remember reading through a thread one day I was offended by it. A few of the established members here were adamant that freelancers should stop bidding such low prices on jobs, and basically no self respecting competent freelancer would be working for $3/hour. Of course that included me.
I decided not to join the thread, since I would have nothing good to say but I followed its progress daily. It was out of that thread I took the advice to slowly increase my rates - and a different set of clients would come. Strange advice to me, since I was competing with so many $5 freelancers and the client almost always close the lowest bid.
So I increased my rate steadily, and the clients did come. None of them haggled, different quality requirements, better communication, better jobs, repeat jobs, influential companies, and best of all - better pay.
So basically I owe that transition to this community, an in particular a few members here. Out of that offensive discussion, I found a better way to freelance. My appreciation to you all. And so this is the reason I try to give back here, because I have benefited far more in many ways.
P.S. Thanks for that email Natasha. It took a couple days of thought, but I will persist.
Thanks for sharing, Setu. I am very happy you came across that Community thread and decided to stick around because it's definitely great to have you here. It's nice to hear that paricipating in the Community really helped you.
Good to hear such an inspiring story of ranking up on Upwork. Can you also share those tips that helped you gaining more awareness amongst freelancers and to increase your rate? Also did you feel that your expertise level grew when you raised your rate?
Good on you, Setu. I started with the meh jobs too and moved up. It doesn't guarantee that everything will be great but it does help to work with business people rather than blaaaahgers.
@ Robert James
It was long overdue
Trying to make up for all the trouble I have caused you.
Apart from all the good advice and general information gained here, not to sound cliche, but quality work is the foundation - the advice is what made the house value alot.
In practical terms, I never do the bare minimum, within reason. Most times a freelancer can provide a bit more, without inconveniencing self. This always impresses my clients. For example a simple job like sourcing some medical files as per instruction, I will categorize them in folders even though it wasn't required. But I will do the job with the purpose of the output in mind. Basically, if I was doing this for myself, how would it be most useful etc. Never bare minimum.
The truth is only a few projects have challenged me technically and I relished those opportunities, since I learned new things in the process. But more-so I started choosing projects that required a bit more expertise that will warrant a higher rate. Or provide the client with a different better method of doing the project, or even teaching the client to things to make future tasks easier.
All that said, data analysis, extraction, formulas etc are just skills I gained from lots of research work; but it is not my intended profession. So I guess I want to eventually "level up" my profile to academic research, environmental data assessment, or anything in that field - but that is when I am here full time.
Yes that is true. It helps alot when you get professional clients who understand value, and know what to expect from the freelancer. It give lateral freedom in conducting the project without worrying about simple matters. You also get the opportunity to help the client's project evolve to something better and more efficient.
Setu.... I can totally relate... when I first started, it was at $4/hour... I guess, it's a series of fortunate events for me that led me to now charging more than 7x that rate.
Not that easy, but yay! We did it... All the best
Thank you Setu for sharing this. Good to know that having the drive to do better , working hard at it and consistency still pays.
Another thing that helps is locating a niche that has few players and uping your skills to meet the high expectations of the client in this niche.
I have found a particluar niche and I am working hard on my skill sets ( by reading and learning) to be able to fit in nicely. Its taking time and a lot of effort - but I beleive it will be worth the while.
Once again thanks for sharing.
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